Saturday, December 10, 2011

Parenting (Not to be Confused With "Peerenting")

If I have learned one thing about parenting in this class, it would be that parenting is a tricky thing. It is so tricky because it is such a serious thing! The way an individual was parented not only has tremendous impact on the individual, but on other people that person comes in contact with. For example, if someone was parented in a really strict home, that individual is likely to be bossy and could even alienate themselves from others or hurt other people's feelings more frequently. Parenting is also difficult because each child is different. When I was growing up I didn't really appreciate this - I would just get upset that my sister and I had done the same thing, yet our punishments were completely different.  In preparation for class we watched several videos demonstrating ineffective and effective parenting styles (particularly in regard to parenting teenagers). The main thing I took away from the videos and class discussion is that both communication and love needs to be high. This may seem like an obvious conclusion, but I think it goes deeper than what one might initially infer. Teens are going through all kinds of crazy changes, all to prepare them for adulthood. As we as parents recognize the developmental changes going on in the brains of teens, we can better understand and empathize with them. For example, most teenagers go through a period of egocentrism in which they think everyone around them perceives things how they perceive them (like everyone noticing their acne because its the first thing they notice about themselves). As we take things like this into consideration and make sure to validate and consider our teens feelings and reasoning, we will be able to be more effective parents. It is also extremely important to set realistic and loving rules and boundaries. Teenagers will never admit this and may not realize it themselves, but they want and need these rules. In short, being a parent honestly scares me, but I know that if I keep these things in mind, rely on the Lord and my future spouse and do my very best, everything will turn out ok!

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